Date: 1 May 2015
I arrived Japan for the first time the night before and stayed at a one room serviced apartment in Gotanda, Shinagawa. The apartment was conveniently located near Gotanda station.
It was a sunny day in Tokyo that morning, and Asakusa was crowded, especially as it was the Golden Week in Japan. I have read in numerous sites on the horror of travelling in Japan during Golden Week. Having experienced it, I can say that, with the right planning, it can still be a pleasant visit.
Asakusa is a must visit when in Tokyo, giving off the vibe of old Japan. It truly represent Japan as I know it, a country which while modernized and developed, retains its cultural properties.
The highlight of Asakusa is Sensoji, a Buddhist temple, which is just a walk away from Asakusa station. It is not easy to miss the entrance gate, Kaminarimon and the crowd says it all.
|Crowded Kaminarimon from across the street|
Passing through Kaminarimon is the Nakamise Shopping Street, a stretch of shops selling souvenirs, snacks, and well . . . souvenirs and snacks. Limitless shopping opportunities here.
|Nakamise Shopping Street. See how crowded it gets!|
At the end of the shopping street, you will find the Hozomon Gate, the 2nd entrance gate.
|Hozomon Gate and the Five Storied Pagoda|
|The smoke from this Jokoro is said to have healing effect|
|Sensoji Main Hall|
|Shin Nakamise Shopping Street|
Asakusa is famous for their tempura restaurants, so one should try some of the recommended tempura shops around here. As I hate crowded eating places, I settled for this lonely udon shop but still serves great food. Despite recovering from sore throat, I finished this bowl easily.
|Tempura udon, yummy|
After Sensoji, was Dempoin, an unplanned visit. This temple which is just next to Sensoji is usually not open to the public, despite having such a beautiful garden! In effort to raise money for the victim of the 2011 earthquake though, it is opened during spring along with an art exhibition for just 300 yen!
This is where I first fell in love with Japanese gardens.
|Free hot green tea to drink while enjoying the view|
|The five storied pagoda can be seen from the garden|
|1st dessert. Matcha ice cream bought from Nakamise Shopping Street|
|2nd dessert. Chestnut and red bean taiyaki from Shin Nakamise Shopping Street|
Asakusa is a great place to visit when in Tokyo. The visit to Dempoin was really a plus. Will be back here again someday.